The perfect Christmas gift! Not really, well, unless you’re a British soldier.
The uniform of the British Army is to be changed for the first time in almost 40 years.
The new Multi-Terrain Pattern (MTP) will replace the traditional four colour woodland uniform known as No.8: Disruptive Pattern Material (DPM).
Forces in Afghanistan will start to get the new uniforms in March next year, with the whole army upgraded by 2011.
MTP is designed for a wide range of environments, including the volatile “green zone” of Helmand province.
British troops in Afghanistan currently use a mix of desert camouflage and temperate DPM, depending on which area they are operating in.
There are three main types of terrain in Helmand – desert, the agricultural “green zone” either side of the Helmand river, and residential areas with dusty buildings and mud huts.
One soldier said that the mix-and-match was far from ideal and made units stand out, especially in the “green zone”.
Lt Col Toby Evans – a military advisor with the Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory – told the BBC the new uniform was a compromise between having a uniform that was perfectly suited to a specific environments and one that would work well across a wide range of conditions.
“We’ve realised that Afghanistan is more complex – especially Helmand – than, say Iraq, which was predominantly a desert background or north-west Europe, which was predominantly green,” he said.
“The new camouflage is optimised for all the Afghan background colour sets and in doing so we never reach a point – which we did with the old colours – where it is actually wrong.
“It may not be quite perfect, but its good enough for everything,” he added.
Check out the new camo duds.